The Distinguished Alumni award was presented as a part of Western Michigan University’s alumni week on Tuesday, April 13.
This year’s award was presented to Christopher Womack. He graduated WMU in 1979 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and started his career working as a legislative aide for U.S. Rep. Leon Panetta.
Womack then took a position with Alabama Power in government relations. He has also held positions in public relations, human resources and energy production. He eventually took a leadership position with the company and is currently the president of Georgia Power.
“He has been described as a student who had a memorable enthusiasm for learning,” said College of Arts and Sciences Dean Carla Koretsky. “He often frequented his professors’ offices to discuss current political issues and often served in student government.”
Michael Dudley is a close friend of Womack’s and the two met while at WMU. He said Womack is a hard worker who loves doing good in his community.
“Chris has always been about impacting and empowering people,” Dudley said. “Regardless of his position, he was always advocating for the powerless while working for the powerful.”
Womack was always told he could be whatever he wanted to be and said he knew WMU could help guide him.
“I think between my upbringing by people who I encountered at Western who helped coach, develop, motivate and encourage, that’s the stuff I saw at Western,” Womack said.
WMU is a special place to Womack and he was honored to receive an award that only 150 people have received in the past.
“I take it with great pride, I take it with great honor to be in that small number and to be recognized with this award,” Womack said.